1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Do you think there is generally more good or evil power in the world? March 31, 2009

 (image by me)

Apparently that is not an easy question – when we look around and listen to the media and complains of people we can think that the world  is full of evil powers/negative happenings/bad people etc.

I would really like to know what YOU think of it!

My opinion: there is definitely more good than evil. And not because I am such an optimist 🙂 No. The reason is that the nature of good is constructive, the Good loves to create and to nourish. The nature of evil is to destroy. Thus, if  evil would have been the dominant power, this world would be no longer there. As simple as that 🙂

What say?

 

LOVE, axinia

 

A free store – New ways of crisis economy? March 30, 2009

I am always glad to hear about things that support my idealistic idea of another world – a world without greed and materialistic manipulations.

Recently a shop opened in New York (a stone’s throw from Ground Zero) where nothing is for sale and everything is for free! The store was founded by local artists Athena Robles and Anna Stein, who set it up with a $9,000 grant from a cultural organisation and the September 11 fund.

There’s only one ‘rule’, which is that customers should only take what they need (brilliant condition!!). Passers by have been spotted carrying off all manner of items, from DVDs and posters to stained glass ceiling fittings and children’s clothes. For more impressions and details read the GUARDIAN report here.

 (Photograph: Frederic Lafargue/Rapport)

Let’s see how long this idea will work and if something similar will be found elsewhere in the word – or may be even it would become a trend?

LOVE, axinia

 

Order a good book in a different manner! March 29, 2009

A friend of mine has written a book and now introduces it in an unconventional manner: print-on-demand!

The book “The Wisdom Tradition” by John Noyce is an insight into philosophical and religious thought of the West from a bit different perspective –descriptions of Divine (or Eternal) Feminine that have been found in a wide range of written accounts including materials not traditionally regarded as ‘religious’, such as philosophy, literature, and those areas of study – alchemy, astrology, theosophy, and various magical traditions – known as Western Esotericism.

Here is the preview by the author:

Chapter 1: Sophia and feminine Wisdom
The first chapter presents an overview of feminine Wisdom from Proverbs in the eighth-century BCE through to Suso and his contemporaries in the 14/15th centuries CE, with particular emphasis on the divine manifestations as received in visions and dreams, and recorded in a variety of written forms. Throughout this period of time much of the surviving literature presents Divinity in masculine terms as an omnipotent God, able to assert His authority over nature. In the Wisdom tradition however, Wisdom is presented in feminine terms, working with nature. It can be argued therefore that the descriptions of feminine Wisdom encountered in this time period, and particularly in the medieval period, can be seen as providing alternative forms for the (safe) expression of the matriarchal view of the Divine inside the increasingly rigid and authoritarian patriarchy of the Christian Church.

 (painting the Mother of the World by Nicolai Rerich 1874-1947)

Chapter 2: From Boehme to Goethe: visions of Sophia in early modern Europe
This chapter is a survey of Sophianic theosophism from its beginnings in the writings of Jakob Boehme in the early seventeenth century. Included here are the English mystics, John Pordage and Jane Lead, the German theosophists, Johann Georg Gichtel and Gottfried Arnold, and their influence on the German Romantic writers, Novalis, Holderlin and Goethe at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Chapter 3: Sophia and the Russian mystical tradition
Awareness of Wisdom (Sophia) is not unique to the Western tradition. Relatively little attention has been given to the origins of the Russian understanding of Sophia. In this chapter I propose that there were in fact two sources: namely the understanding of Sophia as divine Wisdom in Byzantium, and the later introduction to Russia of the Boehmian theosophical understanding of Sophia. (more…)

 

The spring is finally there! March 28, 2009

 

Sound the flute!
Now it’s mute!
Bird’s delight,
Day and night,
Nightingale,
In the dale,
Lark in sky,
Merrily,
Merrily merrily, to welcome in the year.

Full of joy;
Little girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

poem by William Blake

(image by me)

 

Every man carries within him the eternal image of woman March 26, 2009

This is a re-post of one friend’s writing about the meaning of woman in his life. This small essay is not only incredibly profound and sincere, but also breathtakingly beautiful. Apparently many men will appreciate that revelation.

(image by swaps)

Seeking Aphrodite

“Every man carries within him the eternal image of woman … This image is fundamentally unconscious, an hereditary factor of primordial origin …an imprint or ‘archetype’ of all the ancestral experiences of the female, a deposit, as it were, of all the impressions ever made by woman” . Carl Jung, Collected Works 17:338

All my life I have been haunted, and sometimes pursued by an angel archetype. I have wondered where this comes from? Encounters with this archetype have been the cause of experiences filled with otherworldly elation, wonder and beauty as well as incredible disaster, suffering and grief.

I have met this archetype in many forms throughout my life: it gave birth to me, I married it; I have loved it, lost and regained it several times over: it goes, but I know inside me it is never gone for long. It is too interested in me and I am too interested in it. So yes, it keeps returning in a slightly different shape, with minutely altered characteristics, but otherwise substantially the same. I see the cycles, I know the dramas, I have read the script, memorized the lines, and know the ending.

But my vision of it refuses to pass. This archetype resonates deeply inside me and all the efforts of wisdom, emotional pragmatism, and philosophic analysis have failed to eradicate this figure I seem to know so well, this tantalizing angel, this mischievous, eternally present Aphrodite, this vanishing and returning, fascinating and perplexing, milk skinned goddess figure who never allows me to fully forget her. Indeed, there are some deep patternings inside ourselves that elude rational analysis: “the heart has reasons of which reason itself is unaware”. (more…)

 

How to make great photographs – an expert opinion and what I think of it March 25, 2009

NO, the title is not mine – I am not the one to teach others how to make great photographs. Bus as one who is interested in making good and candid photography, I find the flowing article simply outstanding.

I came across this photographer with a sharp and rather unusual view on photography – finally somebody telling me what I always felt and somehow knew… Today when photography is becoming one of the most creative and popular ways of expression oneself, people want to know the all possible tricks and gain some special technical know-how. Let’s see what a master says:

How to make great photographs

Your camera has NOTHING to do with making great photos. You have to master technique of course, but that’s just a burden to get out of the way to free yourself to tackle the really hard part. The hard part is saying something with your images.

Photography is art. It’s abstract. Therefore it’s difficult for many people to grasp. It’s easy and lazy to think a camera makes the photos. It’s easy to blame bad photos on a camera. When you get better you’ll realize you would have been better off to pay more attention to your images and less to your camera.

PATIENCE

You can’t be on a schedule. You have to go out, look around and wait for the light and inspiration.

Many great shots are made only after years of observing a subject, learning when it looks best, and returning to photograph it at its most spectacular. This is how real photographers make anything look extraordinary.

If you’re traveling with non-photographers you’re going to have to get your schedules straight, since you’ll be out shooting while normal people are eating dinner or still sleeping in the morning.

Brilliance doesn’t work on a schedule.

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN

“Compositon is the strongest way of seeing.” Edward Weston.

You see more if you’re looking. The more you look, the more you see worth photographing. If you’re  not looking you’ll walk right past some of the most extraordinary opportunities. (more…)

 

The painting comepetition March 24, 2009

 (image by me)

There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best ‘Picture of Peace.’ Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only 2 he really liked and he had to choose between them. He rejected all other paintings.

Out of the two, one picture was that of a calm lake. The lake was like a perfect mirror and peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace. Everyone said that this painting should and would win the 1st prize.

The other picture was different and had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightening played havoc. By the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall making a deafening noise. This did not look peaceful at all.
Behind the waterfall was a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest… feeding her babies! The mother bird was in perfect peace as she went about her duty…

The King chose the second picture. This picture won the prize much to everyone’s surprise!

Because, as explained by the King: (more…)

 

A dream house in crisis times… and forever! March 22, 2009

Today when to get a bank loan for a house seems to be almost unreal, it is good to know about other possibilities of building one`s own house with little money and much fun. A dream? Interestingly, no!

Apparently the best houses existed long ago, but along with industrialisation we lost this possibility to live in homes that would really make our life both comfortable and naturally enjoyable.

Let`s think why do we build square houses? A square form does not exist in the nature and in fact everybody hates corners 🙂 Normally people try to put a plant or a piece of furniture in the corner in order to “round ” the place. You may suggest that obviously to built a square house is technically much easier than any other form. But this is not true!! Just see what a wonder exists on this Earth and that already for a long time:

A Cob House

What is cob? Cob is a building material composed of clay, sand, and straw. Cob has been a traditional building process for millennia, even in rainy and windy climates like the British Isles, where many cob buildings still serve as family homes after hundreds of years. Many old cob buildings can be found in Africa, the Middle East, Wales, Devon, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany and some parts of the eastern United States.

A Cob Cottage might be the ultimate expression of ecological design, a structure attuned to its surroundings  like “an ecstatic house”. Cob (the word comes from an Old English root, meaning “lump”) is a mixture of non-toxic, recyclable, and often free materials. Building with cob requires no forms, no cement, and no machinery of any kind.

Isn`t is lovely? I would immediately move in!

What fascinates me about cob houses:

  • Cob is very durable and requires little upkeep. They say: “It won’t burn, bugs won’t eat it, and it’s dirt cheap.” Additionally, it’s non-toxic, creates no waste, and requires minimal tools to construct.
  •  cob building is not about mud huts and primitivity. It is sophisticated technology to break free of the financial trap and general insanity of today’s wasteful McHouses.
  • Builders sculpt their structures by hand: Instead of creating uniform blocks to build with, cob is normally applied by hand in large gobs (or cobs) which can be tossed from one person to another during the building process.

   

  • It is amazing that literary everyone can built such a  house, with very little training  – and even children and elderly people can contribute as no heavy work is involved! The traditional way of mixing the clay/sand/straw is with the bare feet; for this reason, it is fairly labor intensive.
  • The building process is very meditative and working with clay has a healing effect (people report getting cured from allergies only by working on such a house because of such clay-therapy)
  • Apparently a small house can be built within one year at a coast of 5.000  (!) Dollars.

What I like the most about this idea is not only the natural origin and look of it, but also the possibility to create some rounded  furniture with my own hands! -it  feels expremely cosy and cute: (more…)

 

The encounter March 21, 2009

I was what they call a seeker of truth since my early teens. I was keen on intellectual knowledge and thirsty for understanding myself and the world. At 12 I loved to discuss geopolitical issues, historical findings and scientific discoveries. At 16, while my classmates were getting drunk and having sex with each other, I was in love with philosophy and psychology and a magazine ” Questions of Philosophy” was my table book along with fashion magazines (yes, my quest for beauty was also there!). At 20 I was already so full off all possible knowledge that I reached to the point of desperately wanting soemthing REAL, some knowledge that is practical, that would enable me to implement all I learned, some knowledge that would stimulate my spiritual ascent and not only my intellectual development. At that time I finally realised that my seeking was of a spiritual nature, for I was stuffed by mental knowledge to a great extend. And I realised that I need someone who will guide me on this way.

How I found to Sahaja Yoga and what happened to me I described in an earlier post here. Today I want to share with you some  thoughts on my encounter with the Sahaja Yoga’s founder, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi and that for a good reason (read in the end of this post).

I could have posted some information from Sahaja Yoga site telling who Shri Mataji is, her background and her contributions. But I will not do that. I personally can tell about the greatness of a personly only by the imact of this person on my life. I preffer the knowledge born in the depth of my heart, which is personal experience based (my long-term readers know that!).

.

When I met Shri Mataji at 1996 what really stroke me was her incredible humility. “She has NO EGO!!” – that was my first thought because it appeared to me totally incredible.As someone who was far away from being humble, I was very sensitive on ego-issues. That was quite an experience! Since then I never met anyone about whom I would say so. Even small children – I can clearly see their ego play.

Time passed and as I took to Sahaja Yoga which appeared to be exactly what I was searching for: simple and profound, clear and very practical in every sense of it (reasons given here). Shri Mataji’s personality and teachings had made a great impact on my personal life and spiritual developments. What I value the most in this encounter is: (more…)

 

The Philosophy of Love March 19, 2009

     (image by me)

The soul on its way to manifestation passes through four states, ‘Ilm, ‘Ishq, Wujud, Shuhud. ‘Ilm is the original state of the consciousness, the pure intelligence; ‘Ishq is love, the next step of the intelligence towards manifestation; therefore intelligence and love are the same in their essence. Objects, such as rocks and trees, have no intelligence, therefore they have no love, except a little perception of love that exists in plant life; but among beasts and birds intelligence develops, that is why in them love begins to show itself. Wujud is the objective world, whose purpose it is to be loved, for love could not manifest unless there were an object to love. Shuhud is the realization of love’s experience, in whatever aspect it may be.

The word love is derived from the Sanskrit word Lobh, which means desire, wish; the same word is used in the Russian language, Liubov. Love may be called in other words the desire to be conscious of the object of love. Therefore Shuhud, the realization of love, is the only object of every soul. It is love in different aspects which is known by all such names as will, wish, desire, kindness, favor, and so forth.

 In love abides all knowledge. It is mankind’s love and interest in things that in time reveals their secret, and then man knows how to develop, control, and utilize them. No one can know anybody, however much he may profess to know, except the lover, because in the absence of love the inner eyes are blind; only the outer eyes are open, which are merely the spectacles of the inner eyes. If the sight is not keen, of what use are the spectacles? It is for this reason that we admire all those whom we love, and are blind to the good qualities of those whom we do not love. It is not always that these deserve our neglect, but our eyes, without love, cannot see their goodness. Those whom we love may have bad points too, but as love sees beauty, so we see that alone in them. Intelligence itself in its next step towards manifestation is love. When the light of love has been lit the heart becomes transparent, so that the intelligence of the soul can see through it, but until the heart is kindled by the flame of love the intelligence, which is constantly yearning to experience life on the surface, is groping in the dark. (more…)

 

 
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